Amy Rees Anderson

Don’t Downgrade Your Dream To Fit Your Reality

 “Don’t downgrade your dream just to fit your reality. Upgrade your conviction to match your destiny.”

What is your dream?  What is it you want to do with your life?  What would you do if you were not afraid? If there were no limits or pressures or responsibility that were influencing to shy away from admitting your dreams –what would you dream of then? Yesterday when I did a mentoring session at the Amy Rees Anderson Academic Entrepreneurship program at USU we talked about what it is we are each passionate about achieving.

Upon me first asking, the students around the table shared their educational and career path dreams, but each one of them would almost apologetically say that although their dream would have been ‘X’ they had modified to “Y” because they felt going after “X”was unrealistic to pursue given their station in life or other hurdles of time or money they faced, and so they had decided to choose something safe instead of going after their dreams.

The problem with doing this Is that every time we come at something with the attitude of “Well that dream will never work because of reason X,Y,Z our immediate thought will be okay, I better be more rational about it  and settle for something less than  my dream.

There are two options when determining dream

Ask the question “what field do you plan to pursue?” You will get an answer from them that have come as a result of them convincing themselves it is the only thing they should pursue given their circumstances and what they have been able to logically explain to themselves as what would make sense for them.

But if you ask that same group the question, “What would you do if there were no external factors to worry about, no family pressure, no money pressure, no pressure of any kind that would hinder you or limit you from saying exactly what it is you would be excited to do with your life:”….suddenly it becomes a very different answer. They were open and the boundaries came off…thats when the real answers came to light But even in that they would then go two steps further:

Plan A does something like this:  I have a dream – it’s a big dream ;but I’ve thought of a million reasons why this plan can’t work so I’ve decided to give up on my dream so I can take the safe approach that doesn’t feel as risky.

Plan B is more like this:   I have a dream – it’s a big dream, and I am going to make it happen. Yes there are all kinds of pressures and questions that are going to make this hard, but I am going to just have to get creative so I can make this dream of mine happen one way or another.

Students need to be reminded that it’s about deciding your dream, a dream without limits or hold backs, and once we know the dream the we begin figuring out the plan to make it happen!  Charge forward. Progress to that dream. And when you hit bumps on the way don’t let those stop you, they are meant to be stepping stones that are leading you to success – and consider this thought:

“Never look back. If Cinderella went to pick up her shoe, she wouldn’t have become a princess.”

`Amy Rees Andesnn


  • Jane Anderson says:

    I’m printing this and old fashioned mailing it to each of my 5 grandchildren and 3 others I love like grandchildren. I have told them before many times to not be like me. I have a good life and it’s comfortable now, but I gave up on my dreams and settled instead of pursuing what I loved most.

  • Samar says:

    don’t downgrade your dream to match your reality upgrade your faith to match your density

  • hira says:

    but how to do it if your motivated but uou dont feel going about it what if its fell wrong going for your dreams

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